For this Discussion, I have kept you in your small groups. After reading “The Co

For this Discussion, I have kept you in your small groups. After reading “The Colonel” by Carolyn Forche, please post one comment about it if you did not comment on “Facing It.” This comment should be at least three sentences long. Here are some things to think about when considering this poem:
What is the effect of writing the poem as a paragraph rather than as verse lines? Why do you think the poet chose this format?
The poem opens with Forche announcing that the story she tells is a true one and that she was in the house of Robert D’Aubuisson. Why does she want to establish this?
Forche begins by describing the ordinary activities going on in the house that evening–but she then quickly juxtaposes those details with other, frightening details: there are pillows and pistols, coffee and sugar on a tray and broken bottles cemented jagged side out onto the exterior walls of the house? What two-sided kind of life is the colonel living?
From her description of the meal of rack of lamb and good wine and the presence of a maid, what is Forche telling us about the colonel’s economic circumstances–and the contrast of that to the lives of the peasants in desperate revolt?
The colonel’s mood changes to a dark one after the meal when he begins to talk of governing and tells his parrot to shut up. Why does the poet’s friend tell her “with his eyes to say nothing”? What is he afraid she might say or do?
The colonel brings in a bag of human ears and spills them on the table. Whose ears are these? Why has he collected them? What does it mean that he keeps them in an ordinary grocery bag rather than in something finer? When he drops one ear into a water glass, whose glass do you think it is? If it’s his own glass, what are the implications of that? If he drops it into Forche’s glass, what are the implications of that?
The colonel’s next words are defiant. Is he afraid of world condemnation for his treatment of the people of El Salvador? What does it mean when he sweeps the ears to the floor? What is it telling us about his concern for the people he has had killed?
His glass of wine in the air is almost a toast. To whom or to what is he toasting? Forche closes the poem by describing the wars on the floor. What is she signaling by turning away from the colonel? What does it mean that some ears are facing upward and some are turned downward to the ground? Can you interpret the meaning of both positions?
Your comment may address any one of these issues–or discuss some element of the photograph I have not mentioned above.
You will receive a Complete if you have done the post for this poem. Remember, you need to comment on only ONE of these two poems ..

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